Flexible solutions for automation in battery manufacturing
Flexible solutions for automation in battery manufacturing

Electro mobility demands quality and economy

More and more drivers are switching: 'Drive electric' is the new maxim, because climate change and limited fossil fuels require alternative solutions to combustion engines. Technological progress in battery development has placed electro mobility in the forefront.

Batteries are the heart of electric cars. Producing high quality batteries economically requires flexible and efficient automation solutions. Balluff has many years of automation and automobile experience. We offer you future-oriented technologies for wide-ranging and flexible solutions to automate your battery manufacturing, both in the manufacture of battery cells and in battery assembly.

Battery cell production: Quality assurance from the very start

A single bad battery cell is enough to negatively impact an entire battery pack. Delayed quality control can result in high scrap rates, which could be reduced by reviewing quality throughout the battery manufacturing process. Automation in battery manufacturing is a decisive factor in quality assurance. It allows quality to be continuously and effectively monitored at each step in the process.

Our high-quality sensor, identification and network solutions help you to produce high-quality batteries. Our fork sensors, for example, ensure web edge control of electrode films in calendering. Contrast sensors let you know in time when a film roll is running out. Our photoelectric distance sensors are used for diameter monitoring. And our camera systems compare, check and control widths, contours and positions. This allows process defects to be detected early and corrected.

Application examples in battery cell production

  • Inclination sensors for continuous roll guiding

    Smooth process sequencing in calendering requires continuous tensioning of the film roll and regulation of the film length. Inclination sensors from Balluff assist in continuous tensioning by directly measuring the angle of the dancer arm. They are simple to install and have far greater accuracy than inductive sensors.

    Continuous roll guiding with inclination sensors

  • Monitoring diameter with photoelectric sensors

    To minimize downtime when calendering and ensure continuous production, timely film changing is essential. Our photoelectric distance sensors continuously monitor the diameter of the film role. They measure precisely, regardless of the color, material or reflectivity of the film. Learned switching points indicate that a roll is running out so that it can be changed in time. The configurable measuring range makes use of our sensors highly flexible.

    Monitoring diameter with photoelectric sensors

  • Web edge control using fork sensors

    When calendaring you need to ensure even and straight unrolling of the electrode and separator films. Balluff fork sensors measure the web edge position of the films reliably and with micrometer accuracy. Our laser fork sensors are especially precise. The determined values can be used to precisely control the drive and guides on your production equipment. Fork sensors feature high optical resolution and repeat accuracy. And they save you time and money in installation since they only require a single electrical connection.

    Web edge control using fork sensors

  • Safety sensors secure guard doors

    Balluff transponder coded safety switches provide ideal access security at guard doors in battery cell manufacturing environments. The machine or equipment is released only if the actuator is within the interrogation zone of the safety sensor. Likewise a safe stop signal is immediately generated when the protection device is opened. Their compact size means the safety sensors are flexible when it comes to integration and insensitive to contamination, vibration and mechanical play. They can be used for the highest safety requirements up to PLe/SIL3. Versions with a high coding level offer even greater protection against manipulation and defeat.

    Safe guard doors using safety sensors

Battery module production: Traceability and flexibility in all production steps

Uninterrupted traceability of all production and origin-related data is indispensable in battery module production. Only then can you verify the process steps include all components and are quality assured. Balluff is at your side for these tasks with a wide range of RFID systems.

With battery cell size changes, differing contacting, and various installation situations in the packs, battery technology is being constantly improved. Production equipment must be correspondingly flexible and quickly adapted to this continuous improvement. Balluff helps you here with flexible solutions: Inductive couplers, for example, enable non-contact power and data transmission. These units make mechanical plug contacts superfluous and thus reduce wiring effort and expense. By automating battery manufacturing, you meet new challenges in the shortest possible time and made your processes flexible.

To detect irregularities early or prevent critical operating states, our LED SmartLight stack lights are an ideal solution. And our SmartCameras reliably read the codes on the battery cells.

Application examples in battery module production

  • Using inductive couplers to flexibly transmit data and power

    Rotary index tables require data to be transmitted from rotating to fixed machine parts. The traditional way of handling this are slip rings, but these are subject to strong mechanical loads, and the wear results in failures and expensive downtimes. The remedy is inductive couplers from Balluff: They transmit power and signals over an air gap of up to 5mm, quickly, reliably, and with high performance. Installation and assembly or replacement are simple using plug-and-play and a convenient M12 plug connection. In these ways our inductive couplers ensure high uptime, short cycle times and flexible processes.

    Using inductive couplers to flexibly transmit data and power

  • Reliable position sensing using inductive Factor 1 sensors

    Wherever processes are automated, non-contact position detection of metallic objects is in demand, and it needs to be wear-free and reliable. Here our inductive Factor 1 sensors are a good choice. They provide the same switching distance with any metal–this means no reduction factor. This consistent switching distance means high process quality. In addition, this property vastly increases the flexibility in the design of your systems and in the installation of the sensors themselves.

    Inductive Factor 1 sensors for reliable position sensing

  • Process visualization using flexible SmartLights

    Our SmartLight LED stack lights indicate operating states using a flexible, broad color spectrum. You can individually define all the colors from the controller and display important or critical machine and equipment states. You can define different colors with just a few commands, without having to mechanically change the LED stack lights. IO-Link simplifies installation: All changes can be made on-the-fly. The SmartLights have three selectable modes and are available optionally with an integrated sound module for acoustic alerts.

    Flexible SmartLights for process visualization

  • Automatic identification and tracking using RFID

    When you need to track parts in automation environments, make RFID from Balluff your first choice. Non-contact identification makes every single production step and each material used traceable. All the data is automatically collected and documented in real time. This ensures high product quality. Full transparency means you can also respond to changes at any time. RFID data carriers can be read and programmed as often as needed and without visual contact, even when subjected to dirt and contamination.

    Identification and tracking using RFID

Additional information

Release lists Project manuals, release lists and project information

Mobility Efficiency and quality down to lot size 1

IO-Link With IO-Link toward improved process quality

Safety Machine safety with Balluff quality

Machine Vision Industrial image processing – complete solutions from a single source